Mission Purpose



Favorite Scripture

Alma 29:9

I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some sould to repentance; and this is my joy.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Week 4 (Christmas in the MTC)

Well, it's a little weird being away for Christmas. But Christmas here in the MTC hasn't been so bad.  The dart guns were a great idea. Elder Mattson was so excited. Also everyone is impressed with my sweet harmonica skills, so it's been a pretty good day.
Elder Nelson came and spoke to us today. It was a pretty awesome devotional. It was funny. At one point, he started talking about rumors and how you shouldn't spread them. Then he mentioned the rumors that "people are getting called to one mission for a year, and then going to some other mission that's closed right now for two, like China." Then he mentioned that rumors like that were completely false. So... I think I take his word over those friend of a friend stories... :P Last night for Christmas eve, they had a little nativity show thing, and then we watched "A Christmas Carol". It was hilarious because I was sitting next to the two Nihonjin Elders we have here, and since it wasn't in Japanese, they didn't really get it. I talked to them like the whole time, and we were all just laughing. It's hard to communicate with them, but I'm getting better. To bad that they're leaving next week along with the rest of our Senpai.
Anyways, back to Christmas. They've given us 20 minutes today to email about Christmas, which I'm not sure if it stacks with our 30 minutes on p-day or replaces it... but I just wanted to let you all know that I'm wishing you a Merry Christmas, whether you're my family reading this from the email, or friends reading it on a blog.
One thing that's really different here in the MTC is that you don't really get the commercial aspect of Christmas. It's all about the actual meaning of Christmas. For example, right after this, we've got a meeting to talk about the meaning of Christmas. It's going to be way different these next two Christmases. Next year will be a christian holiday in a non-christian country. But it'll all be good. I've got to send pictures. I know I can send and receive a few from this email, but I might just send the whole SD card. Thanks, by the way, for the awesome pictures of my family in that binder. Oh, and my Japanese stuff too. (Which reminds me, the binder only had my Japanese 1 stuff in it. Can you try and find my Japanese 2 stuff or something?)
Christmas here has really been a good spiritual experience. I really like it, and even though I miss being with all of you, the Spirit in here is way strong, and I love it here too. Plus, just imagine how awesome that Christmas in two years will be. It'll be a nice thing. But until then, it's just a party here in the MTC.
One thing that really impresses me is the fact that this is a day to celebrate Jesus Christ. He's given us so much, and we're forever in debt for the gifts that He's given us, like the Atonement. But how great is it that I get to give just a small part of that back to Him, being a representative of Him as I prepare to teach the people in Japan. I love thinking about that. There's a reason the second largest name on my name badge is His. Even if it is in Japanese. I love being a missionary, and I can't wait until I'll actually be able to be in Japan, helping bring people unto Him. Also I can't wait till I can actually communicate with people that live in Japan, instead of the broken Japanese that I can speak, but that'll come. I really do have a testimony of the many gifts that we're able to receive. The gift of tongues is going to play a huge role in my mission. I already have a testimony of it. Before my mission, I couldn't say the Japanese "r" sounds. I tried hard. I asked people how to do it. I watched YouTube videos, read articles on the Internet. Nothing. It seriously stressed me out. It's why I never really spoke a whole lot of Japanese in class. For a few weeks leading up to my mission, I would pray about it. like "I know this is a really stupid problem, but I can't say the R sounds, and it's stressing me out." And then, on the first day in class, Evans Shimai just expected us all to be able to speak. I kept repeating all of the things we were supposed to say, and then suddenly I realized that I was able to say them. It wasn't even a problem. I know that my prayers have been answered, even if this is just a small example.
Christmas is all about giving and receiving gifts, right? Well, not exactly. But it's sure turned into that. But if you think about it, Christmas is about Jesus Christ. And He has given us many gifts. We just need to be willing to receive them. I testify that Jesus Christ is our Savior, and that through His Atonement, we can be clean and receive comfort and gifts for anything we want, if we put the work into it. Try and remember the real meaning of Christmas today. I love you all so much. Enjoy today and have fun. Even you Dad. I know you don't like Christmas, and it's probably way hard for anyone to have fun without me there ( :P ) but just have fun today anyway. Love you all! If I get another chance later today, I'll send you another email. But if not, I'll write you next week!

LATER THAT DAY...Hey, so I probably won't be able to write very much again today. Want to hear a sad story though? The iPod you gave me is broken. :( It makes a weird clicking noise, like the hard drive we had did, and then it shows an "X" and says to go to some website for support. I think I'll have to send it back to you to get it fixed. I saw that there were pictures on it, and I tried to check those and then it wouldn't show any. Also I looked briefly through the music. No Jon Schmidt? :P Just kidding, I'm not complaining. But it'll have to be sent back anyways. I think it got damaged in shipping or something. It's weird. 
Anyway, not a whole ton has happened this past week except for Christmas. Mattson Choro and I committed Ohama Shimai (our investigator, played by Evans Shimai) to baptism on the 12th. If I'm still district leader by then, I'll have to ask her baptismal questions. I can barely speak Japanese! ha ha. Oh well. Its been fun here in the MTC though. Now I have to go get everyone else's mail for them. Being District Leader is weird cause now everyone looks to me for answers and stuff. I had a big discussion with one of the elders, because he's been having a hard time in his companionship. I'm glad for the chance I had to help him though. It was really nice.
Oh, on Wednesday, a lot of new missionaries came in, which makes all the lines a real pain to get through now. I have to wait forever for my food and then to put my dishes away, I have to wait another eternity.
New Missionaries remind me that I want to congratulate my friends who are getting their calls. Kallie's dad found me in the cafeteria and told me that she was going to California, Fresno Spanish speaking. And then Annie Mack (I worked with her at the Orem Owls) came to my sacrament meeting because her dad is my branch president. She's going to California too! Anaheim, English speaking. And then today I checked my email and saw that Jared got his call to Calgary Canada English speaking! That's so awesome for all of them, and I think they all enter the same day. (don't quote me on that) Also I saw Bean and my friend Elder Knudsen the other day. That was way nice.
Anyway, times pretty much up this week. I'll make sure that I write you next week. I'll try and get the letters I didn't get sent sent out. I wrote like 12 letters last week.
Oh, just for Lauren. I forgot a smiley attack in the last one. Here's one for you.

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